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Event Series Event Series: Refugees: Then and Now

Refugees: Then and Now

8 October, 2021 at 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Auschwitz survivor Rabbi Hugo Gryn called the twentieth century ‘the century of the refugee’.

In these four sessions, all largely with a British focus but within an international context, Professor Tony Kushner will explore how refugees were treated, how they were defined in law, and how they created their identities in places of asylum.

The course will cover three distinct time frames. The first session will provide a wider context, exploring how attempts have been made to define refugees in national and international law, including the first to do so – the 1905 Aliens Act in the UK. From this foundation, the second session will focus on the turn of the twentieth century and the movement of hundreds of thousands of East European Jews to the west. The third will consider the Nazi era and the desperate attempt of Jews to escape persecution. The fourth will take the story up to date and explore how we approach asylum seekers and refugees today.

In the sessions we will draw on a range of primary source materials, including governmental and legal documents, newspapers and refugee memoirs. Participants will be given materials in advance to enrich their understanding of the topics, and questions and discussion will be encouraged.

In collaboration with JW3

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Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner is a Professor in the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department at the University of Southampton. He has written widely on the British Jewish experience, especially social history and comparative migration. His most recent books are The Battle of Britishness: Migrant Journeys since 1685 (Manchester University Press, 2012) and Journeys from the Abyss: The Holocaust and Forced Migration from the 1880s to the Present (Liverpool University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a study of a Jewish triple murderer and, with Dr Aimee Bunting, Co-Presents to the Holocaust. He is co-editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice and deputy editor of Jewish Culture and History.


8 October, 2021
10:30 am - 12:00 pm




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